By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The death toll from the Camp Fire in Northern California increased by one Sunday to 77, while the number of people unaccounted for has decreased to 993 people, CBS News reported Monday. “The blaze was two-thirds contained as of Sunday night after consuming some 150,000 acres.”
But survivors now face new dangers: air so thick with smoke it ranks among “the dirtiest in the world,” according to the air quality monitoring network PurpleAir, which measures air pollution worldwide.
Nearly 200 miles to the south, in San Francisco, the smoke was so thick that health warnings prompted widespread school closings. Even the city’s cable cars were shut down.
Rain Expected, But Storms Could Hamper Search for Fire Victims
“Rain is forecast for midweek, which could help firefighters but also complicate the challenging search for remains, CBS Los Angeles said. “The search for remains of victims of the devastating Northern California wildfire has taken on new urgency due to rain in the forecast for midweek that could complicate those efforts and bring significant winds with it.”
Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea called the situation “disheartening.”
"As much as I wish we could get through [the search] before the rains come, I don't know if that's possible,” Honea told the CBS affiliate.
In addition to halting the search for more bodies, hundreds of survivors could be flooded out of the tent city they set up in a Walmart parking lot.
According to CNN, “that possibility has authorities working to relocate the wildfire evacuees who have taken refuge at the parking lot 10 minutes down the hill from the town of Paradise, which is now little more than acres of charred ruins.”
It is feared that heavy rains could also trigger mud and rockslides in Southern California.
Woolsey Fire Is Mostly Contained
Just outside Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire death toll stood at three. The blaze was 91 percent contained after burning 96,949 acres, CBS News added.